Since its inception the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center has received overwhelming support. But it's going to take a lot of money to make it a reality. In order to raise the $68,000,000 needed to build the museum, board members have been working the phones and meeting with generous private donors to raise $250,000 in a six month period. So far they have managed to raise $170,000.
"The seed money these private donors are putting in right now at these earlier stages are going to allow us to go out to the rest of the country and raise the millions of dollars that we need to make this happen," said Gray Stream, National Hurricane Museum and Science Center Chairman.
Showing the city's commitment Lake Charles City Council Members Lurvertha August and Rodney Geyen recently traveled to Washington D.C. While there they forged relationships of support with the feds. Inspired by the trip and progress August is now encouraging the entire community to get involved.
"If we are going to ask people to invest in us then we as a community have to show them how much we are enthused about this project. They will look and see the involvement and will be inspired to back us up," said August.
The capital campaign is set to kick off in several months. Stream said whether it's corporate millions or pocket change - it all adds up.
"All of those donations matter. And interestingly enough that grass roots support is a major motivator for those large monetary gifts. They continue to want to see that," said Stream.
The museum is proposed to be built on the land just north of the PPG Fountain. (It's referred to as Track 1D). Voters overwhelmingly supported it to be built near Veterans Memorial Park. Since then both the city and organizers feel it would be better suited on Track 1D. That change will have to go back before voters and is expected to be put on the October ballot.
Also at Tuesday night's meeting there was discussion about the U.S.S. Orleck. The council put a resolution on next week's agenda to consider putting an item on the November 19th ballot for voters to decide whether to move the Navy destroyer to the north end property of Lake Shore Drive where the Yacht Club currently occupies.